Tis the season for Sales: Focus on (not-so) puffy vests.

sale uniqlo

We’re in that great time of year where the new exciting Spring/Summer lines are beginning to line the shelves.  If you’re sick of winter already, you can at least picture yourself on the horizon, sporting these lighter fashions.  It’s also a time for incredible sales on the  leftover pre-Christmas inventories.  You can score big, and still get a few months of in-year utility till spring.  I’ll continue to share these as they come in.

sale Northface

I’m focused on the new ultra light puffy vests.  I find the Uniqlo and Northface brands in particularly interesting, both for warmth and fashion.  As I mentioned in a previous blog Trending:  an Overcoatless Winter, these warm, sleek vests can fashionably replace the winter overcoat.

vest uniqlo

I was at the midtown NYC Uniqlo this week and tried several on.  There are tons of great, pastel colors, and they are truly super light.  Thin too.  I’d say about 50% less bulky than the Lands End one I own (which isn’t all that bulky either).  Only one issue – they WEREN’T ON SALE!

Now at $49.50, they are very affordable.  I’d put them at parity for quality and fashion against the Northface (selling for $130).  But this is the season for DEALS, and $49.50 is the everyday price!  I’m in stalking mode for the big sale.  Will keep you posted.

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Holiday Party Prep: Christmas Tree FAIL

In addition to my Banana Republic Black Friday SCORE, I was also successful in grabbing a Home Depot door-buster $59, 7.5 foot tall, pre-lit indoor Christmas tree with both clear and multi-color lights (normally $179)!  I’ll still buy a real tree, but will go smaller this year and have trees in two rooms.  The fresh one will have all of the traditional ornaments, all the 100-year-old antiques.  The old ornaments are special, but I’m excited to create the new look!

I’m hosting a holiday cocktail party this Saturday, so I planned to get that project completed this weekend.  My plan – go with a candy theme, ornately decorated pieces, all the same ornament, and find them on sale.

My first stop, Pier 1 Imports.  I like to start a project like this at Pier 1.  They have great variety, and often inspire ideas.  If you hit them right, they have great sales, but none the day I go.  Surprisingly, although they have neat options for other decorations and buy a few, I’m not impressed with their ornaments this year.  Second stop, Target.  No good.  Not bad stuff, just not what I had in mind.cane swarovski

Third stop, Marshalls.  A few options to ponder, and reasonably priced.  I see these little disco balls in pink, green, turquoise and gold, and think they’re perfect.  They’ll reflect the lights, and the disco theme works great for the party.  I also find a tiny disco ball garland in red.  I hit Walmart (shhh, please don’t tell anyone.  I despise Walmart), and find a neat candy option with, but they are twice the price of Marshalls.  I buy a couple samples just to have.  I have a back-up option, and can always continue an eye out for my candy theme, and pick ‘em up on 12/26 clearance (I wish I thought of this last year.  Was thinking it’s be cool to have a bunch of those Swarovski or Waterford crystal ornaments.  If I could get a deal this year post Christmas, I may just do it!)

How great do tehse look!

How great do these look!

Back home and fully decorated, “Houston, we have a problem…”

Without the tree’s lights on, it looks great.  The balls, the colors, great balance.  But when the clear lights turn on, the balls almost disappear.  The multi-color lights – even worse.  The colors of the disco balls are just too dark.  I fidget with the balls for maximum refraction of the celestial bodies, but it’s for nil.  Total FAIL!

It looks worse in real life.  So sad.

It looks worse in real life. So sad.

I’ll keep a few of the disco balls because I really like them.  They’ll go on the regular tree.  The rest will go back to Marshalls.  With five days till the cocktail party, looks like I’m going back to Walmart during lunch (perhaps Macy’s and Christmas Tree Shops too).

Cringe….

Wardrobe in Transition – Black Friday Score!!!

My closet is tight.  Not just tight, as in stylish and cool.  Tight meaning there’s lots of clothes crammed in.  Recently realizing this, I am more selective with what I buy.  I don’t hit every sale and try to reserve my dollars for the truly special pieces and exceptional sales.

The Black Friday marketing machine had its sights on me and definitely grabbed my attention.  After a recent custom fitted FAIL (post coming soon), I zeroed in on a two national branded stores Banana Republic and H&M.  BP always has sales and H&M is always cheap.  My goal was twofold – to find perfectly fitted pants and really squeeze the price.

I’ve been swapping out my previously-cool flat front pants from a few years ago for the recent style shift to lower waists and tighter hips.  BP was a little late on this, but their current offerings seem there.  I’ve had my eye on the Tailored Slim Camel Striped Wool Trouser at $108, but I’ve been waiting, stalking for the right coupon.  The 40% off Entire Purchase Black Friday Special was it.  I like ordering on-line, but I needed to try them on.  To quote Liam Neeson/Ottway from The Grey, “One more time, into the fray.”

Fast-forward through the traffic, parking, crowds, etc.  I have a nice lunch and a fabulous Blue Point Pale Ale (Long Island, NY).  I’m ready to shop.

H&M was not for me on this day.  The stuff with the big sales did not fit like I wanted and I was determined to not further cram my closet with impulse buys.

On to BP.  I see my target and sift through the size tags.  After double-checking all 12 pairs, my nemesis kicks in – they don’t have my size.  KAHN!!!!!!  I shift into problem solving mode – find a different color in my size.  I’ll then order online.  Then, a Black Friday Miracle – around the corner, 6 more pairs of the Camel Stripe.  Score!  Positive thinking always pays off.  I grab my size and head for the changing room.  On the way, I peruse the clearance rack….

SCORE!!!!!  A Tailored Slim pair in my size in a charcoal/brown – a color on my acquisition list.  They are also 40% off and only $28!

Out of the dressing room, two thumbs from me, and confirmed by the doll-of-a-dressing-room-attendant.  Both pairs look awesome, and will wear both to work this week.  Now that I know the BP Tailored Slim are a win, I’ll have no issue ordering on-line in the future (with an aggressive promo code, of course).   We’ll see what Cyber Monday brings…